Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Advisor/Committee Chair

Elise Andaya


The birth of a child with disabilities forces parents to rewrite narratives of family and what it means to raise a child with disabilities. Parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) often find that their child’s behavior and development makes it difficult to relate with parents of typically developing children, and so support groups become a place to find parents who share similar experiences. This study examines the role of support groups in the lives of parents of children with ASD. It asks how the support group differs from other sources of support and relationships, what information is sought from the support group, and how the support group itself has helped parents as they rewrite their narratives of themselves and their children. Although only three mothers participated in the study, their responses indicate that the support group they belong to has had a significant impact on how they view their child with ASD, their ability to connect with parents who understand their challenges and concerns, and how they are moving forward in crafting their narratives as mothers of children with ASD.

Included in

Anthropology Commons